If you want a website you should consider the possibility of registering the domain name, rather than using a free site where your name is a sub-domain of another. Domain names such as the sitebuilder.com, or the domainwhiz.com are a good way to announce your online presence.
Choosing a name that fits your business or presence online is a great way to get the news out about the service that you’re offering to the public. It also tends to lend legitimacy to your online endeavors.
How to Choose a Good Domain Name
As a rule, there is no perfect domain name. There are some guidelines that you ‘re going to want to use, such as naming the domain something that is related to your online business or service. A few tips on how to name your domain that may help you to choose:
Try to name the domain closely to the service.i.e. if you offer jewelry and the name jewelry.com is gone, try for glitteringgems.com or something that fits.
The alternative is naming your domain something you might type into a search engine to find your service. If you’d use the search phrase..cheap jewelry online, then try the domain names, cheap-jewelry, cheapjewelryonline, or some variant.
If you can’t get the names that you want, try variations with hyphens or underscores. Google sees the hyphen as a space and according to Matt Cutts, his preference is first for the hyphenated and then the all in one terms.
A good rule is to keep the domain name as short as you can get it and still make it reflective of your service.
Finding a Registrar
Generally speaking, a domain name that cost you 19.99 a month is no more secure and no more legitimate than one that you pay just 9.99 for. Every domain is registered through a registrar which is an employee, if you will, of ICANN.
You pay for the domain name for one or two years, which gives you the right to use it for that period of time. Prior to the expiration you are required to re-register it if you want to keep it for another time span.
Overview of Registration
You are often given the choice of receiving a lower cost domain name or a free one with a hosting purchase. My own preference is to use a registrar rather than to register with the host. In the past, using fine print that many of us don’t read, domain hosts registered the domains in their own name rather than the customers, effectively making them the owner of your domain. While this isn’t the norm, it’s better to be safe than lose your domain.
Registering with your own domain registrar assures that you are listed as the site owner, that other contact information is just as you wish it to be. Keep the domain locked to transfer as a rule of thumb when you are finished registering.
Domain names go fast. You need to register as soon as you think of a name. Some people actually wait for others to search the names and if they aren’t purchased immediately, they will register them. We’re not sure how true that is but it does seem that you can check out a name to register today and it will be gone tomorrow.
Some people claim there are no good names left. Thats doubtful. One mans meat, as they say, is another mans poison. You will quite likely find what you’re looking for if you try variants of it.
To actively register the domain.
Log into your domain registrar.
You will need either a PaPal account or a credit or debit card to register your name. Domain registrars don’t normally permit the use of any other type of funding.
The domain name that you’ve registered will go through and an email receipt will be sent to you. At this point you will need to go back into your domain registrar and change the DNS information to point to your hosting service so that your domain will show up online.
If you don’t yet have a hosting service then you can leave the domain parked on your registrar until you find one to use.
Domain Name Registrars
Some great domain name registrars are out there which are very reputable and offer great pricing. Several of those are listed here for your convenience.
GoDaddy.com-the largest domain registration operator in the world, prices are a little higher than you may pay elsewhere
Hostingdude.com-smaller operation but still offers five emails and domain parking until you have a host. Average domain cost is 7.99 for dot com’s and 6.50 for dot net domains.This is for the first year prices. Second year the prices rise to about 14.00 per domain.
Dotster.com-relatively popular, still a bit on the pricey side for a domain. Prices are about 15 dollars per domain.
Register.com-9.99 per year domains with one free email address.